Encouraging Self-Directed Learning #ELTchat Summary 22/03/2017
This summary was contributed by Rachel Appleby and was taken from her blog here
[Image from www.thegazelle.org/issue/63/opinion/ling-2]
This week’s topic was an area proposed by @ElleninEdmonton and @Nafooh1988
Marisa_C pre-empted and attempted to prevent overlap and repetition with a heads-up on
three past chats on the topic (although I’m not sure we succeeded!), posted here
- Tips for delegating responsibilities to students – training them for autonomy Transcript (Summary not available)
- Learner Autonomy: Is it important? If is it, why is it and how can we promote it (should we?) Summary 6 February 2013 Two definitions from this post were useful: NikkiFortova “The way I understand it is the learner’s ability to take responsibility for their learning inside and outside the class”, and elawasell “Learner Autonomy – being able to study on your own, have a say about the direction of learning, responsibility for own learning”. It was later agreed that age and culture were important implications.
More in the Summary by Bob Knowles @BobK99
- Ways to develop learner autonomy: tips for learning outside class time, Summary: http://eltchat.org/wordpress/summary/ways-to-develop-learner-autonomy-tips-for-learning-outside-class-time-eltchat-summary-26012011/ 26 January 2011 Useful starting points from this summary [edited]: Main goals:
• Make your students independent of the teacher
• Help the learner to become his/her own mentor
• provide students with learning tools
How autonomy starts in classroom:
• Give them choice
• Show them ways of learning
• Use their interesta
• Talk about it in classroom
More in this Summary by Vladimira Michalkova @vladkaslniecko
Marisa_C also mentioned up-front recent trends and echoes of this topic in Sugata Mitra’s IATEFL 2014 talk.
Here is the summary of a chat on SOLE, and a discussion after Dr Mitra’s presentation:
I’m not sure we all had time to read the above summaries, but the evening’s tweet-exchange on Encouraging Self-Directed Learning can be summarised and defined under two key areas: issues to be aware of, and ideas to promote Self-directed Learning.
Issues re. Self-directed learning
- do they want it? (fionaljp); are they motivated?
- the relationship between motivation and autonomy (Nafooh1988)
- do sts value the importance of autonomous learning? (rapple18) – yes.. when they perceive learner autonomy as relate to their life outside the class (Nafooh1988)
- ways of training learners to do what happens naturally out there on the web (Marisa_C)
- if they are learning outside the classroom, what are they [we?] doing with the data, and who can we make sense of it (Marisa_C)
- it’s a gradual process: increasing awareness, changing attitudes, changing roles (Scharle & Szabo http://www.cambridge.org/us/cambridgeenglish/catalog/teacher-training-development-and-research/learner-autonomy/learner-autonomy-a-guide-developing-learner-responsibility-paperback) (Nafooh1988)
- … and never ends (TESOLacademic)
- Ts need to create the right environment (fionaljp)
- sts must be aware of own strengths and be able to make the right choices, hence learner training (Marisa_C)
- metacognitive awareness: Qs become deeper – e.g. how do I learn best? (Marisa_C)
Ideas to encourage and promote Self-directed learning
begin early, – i.e. get them used to the idea
involving learners in making decisions about their learning
– weaning them off being spoonfed
– the less I chose & explained subjects the more students did
– Guide them, show them where they can find suitably challenging self-directed learning material
– collaboration and sharing ideas is key to encourage and maintain autonomy
– give [sts] the tools, encouragement but at some point it’s a choice
– get students to write summaries of texts they have chosen [see summary writing ling below]; then share
– a new approach to teaching – called “keep it Mysterious and they will WANT to learn it”
– creating a social network of sorts that they will WANT to belong
– getting them to do stuff in English which they’d otherwise do in L1 – [e.g. online / social media if studying in their own country, or having to go to the corner shop if studying in an English-speaking environment / ESOL]
– Vocab challenge can begin with sets of Quizlet cardsready made; later Ss make their own
– Reading challenge – can begin from a list, but later Ss choose own texts
– (via @ShellTerrell) different colour cards for T to monitor degree of autonomy – great for YLs
– autonomy + edtech is more about language use on social media then apps to practice
– huge potential of gamification (not to be confused with Game-base learning EdTechTV)
– asking ss for evidence of autonomous learning, e.g. a learner diary is one way of encouraging ss
– not only about materials, but now we approach them.
– a case of providing a model and a gradual process for sts to take over
– handling data: Facebook post by @nicolaMeldrum looking for platform for collecting data from students’ self-study: suggestions include GoogleForms, and Slack https://slack.com
A few extra links were included by Marisa_C and fionaljp:
- http://linkis.com/myenglishclub.com/xqGVw ENGLISH CLUB: self-motivated adults led by one @tarabenwell – sts long on every day, they talk to one another, they lobg and post anything that strikes their fancy and learning on their own
- http://www.controlaltachieve.com/2016/11/docs-blackout.html helping sts write summaries – hard copies, or using Google Docs “Black out”
- YLs – How to help your students work independently (colored cards) http://linkis.com/blogspot.gr/2ytmG
- Capacity Matrices – to describe, document and monitor our learning (via @jayraguda): https://multiplepathways.info/2013/12/31/capacity-matrices-examples-overview/ – ladders or scales, a tool to support student metacognition
On reflection, I’m not sure we took the topic much further on from previous #ELTchats, except that there were different participants, plus there’s never any harm in being reminded of these issues. I think what I might find useful another time would be to focus on specific areas of independent learning and autonomous tasks, e.g.
a) the WHAT, e.g.
- student materials (e.g. workbook, ‘supplementary’ materials); especially prepared / set-up stuff (designed/prepared/suggested by the teacher .. or later by students – e.g. Quizlet); miscellaneous stuff – e.g. films, articles, etc. (‘authentic’ materials, suggested by T/St); real-life stuff (e.g. buying bread at the supermarket, going to a film, reading a newspaper/magazine/brochure – in an L2 [probably] environment; online social media in English (use of Facebook, Twitter, blogs. etc); etc.
b) the HOW, i.e.
- student- or teacher-led; competition/challenge/gamification elements; etc.
c) KEEPING RECORDS, comparing and sharing with other students, etc.
- When / Where / For how long (activity length) / Outcomes (benefits-pitfalls) / Follow-up suggestions
Perhaps a future #ELTchat could drop in to focus on some of this (but by no means all!) – the more focused the topic, the deeper we can go, and perhaps this would be useful!
Thanks to all for joining in last Wednesday – it was great to be part of the group! (It was another reminder that I don’t do #ELTchat often enough!)
… and don’t forget to read the latest from #ELTchat: http://eltchat.org/wordpress/latest
[Excuse the mix of links and hyperlinks.. having tech problems!)
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